Looking for the best espresso machine for a commercial cafe and home barista? The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia machines might be on your list but you might not sure which one to choose.
While the Rancilio Silvia is known as a home espresso machine the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 can serve a commercial location, including offices and small shops. Both machines have a lot of great features and similarities.
The following guide will help you make your final choice between the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia.
What Are the Similarities of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia?
Before we dive into a detailed discussion about the features of each espresso machine, let’s see which similarities they both have.
First of all, the Rancilio Silvia and Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 machines share a mutual group for a small-scale operation. They can be used at home or in the offices for brewing delicious espresso or other coffee drinks.
Unless you’re going to brew coffee drinks all day long, it’s best to opt for a single-group machine. Not only will it save your money, but it will also take less space.
The second similarity the machines share is stainless steel panels. Known for their durability, stainless steel panels make espresso machines look contemporary. Not to mention that stainless steel construction is simple to clean.
Despite their compact sizes, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia boast great steam power. This means you can make your favorite cappuccino or latte in a matter of a few minutes.
Moreover, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia have no hot water spigot. A separate water tank is required for brewing an Americano.
On the other hand, the Rancilio Silvia lets you receive hot water from its steam wand. The brewing process becomes slower, though.
Neither the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 nor the Rancilio Silvia has an in-built grinder. You’ll need to purchase a separate grinder or use pre-ground coffee.
What Are the Features and Differences of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia?
Although the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia share many similar features they do work differently.
Here are a few features and differences of both machines to pay attention to when choosing between the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia:
1. Direct Connect Option
Both the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia come in pour-over configurations. However, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 can also come in a direct-connect version.
The pour-over configuration means that the machine isn't automatically connected to a water line. There’s a special water reservoir to refill manually. Thanks to this feature, you can place the machine anywhere you want.
In a direct-connect version, your machine stops being portable but there’s a constant automatic water supply. In this version, it’s also possible to install a filter or water softener to enhance the taste of your drink.
2. Single Boiler and Heat Exchange Boiler
The Rancilio Silvia features a single boiler, which doesn’t allow two processes like brewing coffee and steaming milk at the same time. You’ll need to perform one process at a time.
That’s because different temperatures are needed for steaming and brewing. Additionally, with a single boiler version, you have to monitor the temperature so that you don’t burn your coffee after steaming milk.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 features the heat exchange boiler, which allows you to steam milk and brew coffee simultaneously. There is an autonomous compartment in the heat exchange boiler along with a copper tube, which provides the group head with water.
Since the heat exchange system separately maintains water for steaming and brewing, the machine is able to reach the right temperatures for every process at the same time.
3. Dosing Control
The Rancilio Silvia is a semi-automatic espresso machine, which means manual dosing is required to operate it. In order to start and finish the brewing cycle, you’ll need to use a special button.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 is also a semi-automatic machine that can do most of the brewing process independently. This machine has programmable buttons, which can be set by a certain time. Once you begin the brewing process, the machine will automatically pull the shot based on the programmed timing.
Programmed dosing control is convenient but it doesn’t let you customize your espresso drinks. Manual dosing control gives you more freedom when it comes to brewing espresso on demand.
4. Reverse Mirror
A reverse mirror lets you control each angle of the espresso during the brewing process. The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 has a reverse mirror in the form of a stainless steel backplate.
Even though the Rancilio Silvia also has a stainless steel backplate, the reflective property is absolutely different. This feature doesn’t seem to be important, yet it aids you in controlling the whole brewing process.
5. Twist Knob vs. Push-Pull Steam
The Rancilio Silvia features a twist knob, which is useful for baristas and those who often brew coffee at home.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 comes with a push-pull steam trigger, making it particularly good for people with sensitive wrists or those using the machine all day long.
6. Articulating Steam Arms
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 and Rancilio Silvia have the ideal steam arm length. The articulating steam arms let you angle the milk pitcher with a variety of motion.
The difference is that the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 has a longer steam arm than the Rancilio Silvia. Therefore, you might want to use a smaller pitcher when brewing espresso in the Rancilio Silvia.
Thanks to its longer steam arm, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 is ideal for distributing the heat even in the deeper pitchers.
7. Soft Infusion Method
The espresso machines with the programmable dosing tend to have a wonderful feature called soft infusion. The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 does have this feature that ensures even extraction and improved flavor.
The soft infusion method is a way to initially saturate the coffee bed in the group head. Plus, it helps to prevent improper tamping. The Rancilio Silvia doesn’t include this feature.
Both espresso machines boast a minimal interface and are easy to use.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 features a well-polished steel front that has a dispenser with four buttons on top. The lever lets you dispense coffee into the cups.
You can also access the water reservoir from the top along with a ‘hot plate’ that helps to maintain cups of freshly brewed espresso warm until you decide to enjoy your drink. Any drips and spills of coffee are caught thanks to a drip tray, which you fix at the bottom.
The Rancilio Silvia has a simple interface and design. The pushbuttons are designed for quick and easy operation and have straightforward symbols.
The front of the machine features a knob for operating the steam wand, which is articulated due to the ball joint. Therefore, the steam wand can be rotated in four directions rather than two.
Since the machine has no pressure gauge, the steam wand might get very hot. That’s why it’s recommended to hold the wand from the rubber-padded elbow.
9. Brewing Capacity
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 offers a water reservoir capacity of about 2.8 liters, producing at least 11 espresso cups of coffee. You can brew a cup or two at a time, though.
The Rancilio Silvia has a water reservoir capacity of about 2.2 liters, producing 74 single shots (one fluid ounce each) of espresso. It’s possible to brew 2 shots of coffee at a time.
The brew boiler of the Rancilio Silvia has a capacity to hold 0.3 liters, allowing you to brew 5 double shots or 10 single shots at a time. Then, you’ll need to boil the water again.
If you need to brew more espresso with the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2, you should run several cycles, depending on how many cups or shots you need.
10. Cleaning and Maintenance
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 makes cleaning and maintenance processes a breeze. Depending on how often you use the machine, it might require minimal cleaning. The safety features make maintaining the units simpler.
The showerhead and its gasket are recommended to be replaced every year – especially if you use the machine on a daily basis. When it comes to cleaning the drip tray and water tank, you can remove and clean them separately.
The Rancilio Silvia features a smarter backflushing cycle, which makes the cleaning process fast and easy. The portafilter backflush disc helps to eliminate even the tiniest debris. A special descaling agent is needed in order to perform descaling.
If you need to clean certain parts of the machine, avoid using harsh detergent. The manufacturer recommends cleaning the machine’s components with a damp cloth. Backflushing might be required after each use while descaling should be done each 3 to 4 months.
The average price point of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 is around $1,295 while the direct-connect version costs about $1,620.
The average price point of the Rancilio Silvia is about $799 for a basic model and $1,690 for a pro version.
Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 vs. Rancilio Silvia Summary
Both the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 vs. Rancilio Silvia make wonderful espresso machine options – whether you buy it for home or office.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 is a great choice for small coffee shops while the Rancilio Silvia makes an ideal home espresso machine.
1. Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2
Despite its price, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 offers a variety of features that will make your espresso brewing experience simple and joyful. If you’re looking to buy this machine for your restaurant or coffee shop, it’s better to consider the direct-connect model.
The basic model is more portable and best for homes and small offices. Many professional baristas opt for the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2.
Even though the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 doesn’t come with an in-built grinder, it lets you use ESE pods or Lavazza and Nespresso capsules. You’ll need to buy a carafe, though.
- High durability
- Professional quality espresso
- Fingerprint and scratch-resistant
- Auto-refill safety feature
- The warming tray holds 12 cups
- Milk froths in 10 seconds
- User-friendly interface
- No descaling cycle
2. Rancilio Silvia
The Rancilio Silvia also offers tons of unique features. Depending on which model you choose, you can use it at home (a basic model) or in your restaurant (the pro version).
The Rancilio Silvia comes with a plastic tamper, a coffee scoop, as well as the portafilter and 2 portafilter baskets.
The machine is budget-friendly when compared to the Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2, but it still boasts impressive durability. Moreover, the Rancilio Silvia is versatile and can be used for brewing lattes and cappuccinos.
Combine this machine with a great grinder and you’ll get a top-notch semi-automatic espresso maker to place anywhere you want. The machine allows you to program a PID controller into it – just in case you need it.
- High durability
- Simple backflushing and descaling
- A wide diameter portafilter included
- Fully articulated steam wand
- User-friendly interface
- The almost flat learning curve
- Portable and versatile
- No pressure gauge
Both espresso machines are worth your attention and you can splurge on any of them based on your preferences and needs. However, there are a few features that set these machines aside from the rest.
The Rancilio Silvia, for instance, has the wide diameter of the portafilter, offering an enhanced taste and aroma of the espresso.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar 2 can brew and steam simultaneously, making it an excellent option for both home users and professional baristas.
Both machines have modern designs and are constructed of durable materials. This means you’ll enjoy your purchase regardless of which one you’d choose.